Hugh Campbell, Managing Partner, GP Bullhound
Hugh Campbell, Managing Partner, GP Bullhound

Scotland & North England’s fastest growing tech businesses contributed £4.5bn to the UK economy in 2017

Recent data compiled by GP Bullhound, the technology advisory and investment firm, showed that the 100 fastest growing technology companies in the North of England and Scotland generated £4.5bn in 2017, more than double the 2016 figure of £1.9bn.

GP Bullhound showcased the tech businesses leading the digital economy of the North at last night’s Northern Tech Awards in Edinburgh. The awards championed key players in the region’s digital sector, celebrating the successful entrepreneurial path of business founders and leaders.

Performance Horizon was awarded the ‘Overall Judges’ Award at the Northern Tech Awards, recognising the business’ key role in driving innovation both in the Northern region and on a global scale.

Performance Horizon is an online marketing technology provider, supporting brands in building successful partnerships and improving growth by harnessing data technology and artificial intelligence. Founded in Newcastle in 2010, it has over the years scaled to reach the international market, and now operates across four different continents.

Tech businesses whose success has led to their rapid growth were also rewarded, with In Touch Networks winning ‘Fastest Growing Company of the Year (with revenues under £10m)’ and Evolution Funding winning ‘Fastest Growing Larger Company of the Year (with revenues over £10m)’.

The award winners were selected by a panel of high-profile judges. Sherry Coutu CBE, Chair of Founders4Schools, Jacqui Ferguson, director of Wood Group, and Melinda Matthews, chief executive of the Edinburgh-based digital skills academy CodeClan, were part of this year’s new additions, sitting on the panel alongside longstanding judges such as David Rowan, Founding Editor of Wired UK.

Three of the five fastest growing technology companies in the North of England were e-commerce specialists, showing the depth of expertise in the region in online retail and sales. Northern businesses also proved their skills in delivering IT services: companies in the sector made up almost one third (30) of the region’s top 100 fastest growing businesses.

The awards also highlighted ongoing trends in the Northern tech sector, as the region continued to prove its worth in software development: 22 enterprise software companies were in this year’s top 100 ranking, an increase from 19 companies last year.

Manchester also stayed true to its reputation as a Northern technology hub: almost one third (29) of this year’s top 100 tech businesses are based in Manchester, five of which are in the first twenty. Leeds came close behind with thirteen businesses in the ranking having been born and bred in the city.

Hugh Campbell, Managing Partner of GP Bullhound, commented: “We have seen the Northern region’s technology sector grow extensively as local businesses are scaling to reach the global market. Companies such as Peak AI and Sykes are a testament to the potential of Northern businesses to become international tech giants – we expect to see many more local companies with great ideas grow to reach the global technology landscape.”

Melinda Matthews, CEO of CodeClan, commented: “At CodeClan, we support technology businesses by giving them access to resources they need to scale. Scotland has the potential to be a leader in the global digital economy – it was an honour to reward the entrepreneurs who are involved in making this happen.”

The Northern Tech Awards 2018 are presented by GP Bullhound as a not-for-profit event with the support and sponsorship of Barclays, Squire Patton Boggs, OBI Property, Scottish Equity Parners, Aquiline, Frazer John Recruitment, Mercia Technologies, Berenberg, Inflexion, Tech North, BGF, London Stock Exchange, Draw Code and Seven Hills.

The full list of Award winners and the final ranking of the top 100 companies are:

2018 Northern Tech Awards Winners:

  • The Region’s Top Northern Star from the competition run by Tech North: BigChange
  • Fastest Growing Company of the Year (with revenues under £10m): In Touch Networks
  • Fastest Growing Larger Company of the Year (with revenues over £10m): Evolution Funding
  • Judges’ Innovation Award: Peak AI
  • Judges’ Award for International Success: Purple
  • Judges’ Leadership Award: Sykes
  • Tech4Good Award: Virtual College
  • Judges’ Young Entrepreneur Award: Nicholas Mealey, Connex One
  • Judges’ Entrepreneur Award: Steve Oliver, MusicMagpie
  • Overall Judges’ Award: Performance Horizon

Top 100 Companies:

  1. In Touch Networks
  2. Chameleon Technology
  3. The Car Buying Group
  4. Fruugo.com
  5. The Lead Agency
  6. Social Chain
  7. Origin Broadband
  8. Giacom Hessle
  9. Hedgehog Lab
  10. Matillion
  11. BigChange
  12. Outplay Entertainment
  13. Hyperdrive Innovation
  14. Castlight Financial
  15. AccessPay
  16. TVSquared
  17. Resulting
  18. Redu Group County
  19. LADBible
  20. Looking4.com
  21. CurrentBody.com
  22. Cloud Technology
  23. Peak
  24. ZeroLight
  25. Evolution Funding
  26. Cubic Motion
  27. IDHL Group
  28. Performance Horizon
  29. Godel Technologies
  30. Shield Safety Group
  31. Ecometrica
  32. ProofID
  33. Converge Technology
  34. Trak Global Group
  35. Quint Group
  36. Planixs GRP
  37. InVentry
  38. The Hut Group
  39. Volcanic
  40. Sky Betting & Gaming
  41. M24Seven
  42. Uinsure
  43. rradar
  44. Opencast Software
  45. Purple WiFi
  46. Evoke Creative
  47. Bede Gaming
  48. E-days Absence
  49. Connex One
  50. Sykes Cottages
  51. Mobysoft
  52. ContractHireAnd
  53. Azzure IT
  54. The Floow
  55. r2c Online
  56. MTech IT Solutions
  57. Better2Know
  58. Aspire Technology
  59. Preasto Consulting
  60. Music Magpie
  61. Parcel2Go
  62. ProVu Communications
  63. Virtual College
  64. Ripe Thinking
  65. Digital Next
  66. Airangel
  67. Sonocent
  68. Mando
  69. Lead Tech
  70. Wax Digital
  71. Uniform
  72. Waterstons
  73. Mobica
  74. Fire sh Software
  75. Visualsoft
  76. Vaioni Group
  77. Parallax
  78. Caboodle Technology
  79. Elementary Technology
  80. ANS
  81. OpenCRM
  82. UKFast
  83. Zuto
  84. NGC Network Services
  85. Intechnica
  86. Blue Logic
  87. Hiring Hub
  88. Apadmi
  89. The Webinar Vet
  90. Radius Payment
  91. TribePad
  92. Nexus Vehicle Rental
  93. Maginus
  94. TPP
  95. SITS Group
  96. Elite Group
  97. eBECS
  98. Everything Different
  99. CascadeGo
  100. Degree 53
  101. Mitre nch